Taking its cue from Eve Sedgwick, this talk offers a “reparative reading”...
Why Study German?
15 reasons for learning German
- Germany is the world’s second-largest exporter.
- The German economy ranks number one in Europe and number four worldwide. Its economy is comparable to that of all the world’s Spanish-speaking countries combined.
- Germany is home to numerous international corporations.
- Direct investment by Germany in the United States is over ten billion dollars.
- German has the largest number of native speakers in the European Union (far more than English, Spanish, or French).
- German is among the ten most commonly spoken languages in the world. It is also a lingua franca of Central and Eastern Europe. And as for “all Germans speak English anyway”? That’s pure myth.
- 22 Nobel Prizes in Physics, 30 in Chemistry, and 25 in Medicine have gone to scientists from the three major German-speaking countries, while many laureates from other countries received their training in German universities. Eleven Nobel Prizes in Literature have been awarded to German-language writers, and seven Germans and Austrians have received the Peace Prize.
- Germans are world leaders in engineering.
- German and English are similar. Many words in German sound and/or look the same as equivalent English words, because the two languages share the same “grandparent.” For example, look at these words:
Haus = house, Buch = book, Finger = finger, Hand = hand,
Name = name, Mutter = mother, schwimmen = to swim,
singen = to sing, kommen = to come, blau = blue, alt = old,
windig = windy.
- The German-speaking world has produced some of the most revered filmmakers of the 20th century – from Fritz Lang to Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wim Wenders and a new generation of transnational directors such as Tom Tykwer and Fatih Akin. German and Austrian filmmakers such as Lang, Billy Wilder and Ernst Lubitsch also shaped the history of Hollywood.
- German is the language of Goethe, Marx, Nietzsche, and Kafka, of Mann, Brecht, and Grass. Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, and Schubert, Brahms, Schumann, Wagner, Mahler, and Schoenberg spoke and wrote German, as did Freud, Weber, Einstein, and Heisenberg, Kant, Hegel, and Heidegger.
- German is the second most commonly used scientific language in the world.
- 18% of the world’s books are published in German, and relatively few of these ever appear in English translation.
- 68% of all Japanese students study German. What do they know that you don’t?
- Many of the Western world’s most important works of philosophy, literature, music, art history, theology, psychology, chemistry, physics, engineering and medicine are written in German and continue to be produced in German.